BBC defends Buckland after backlash over peat and pesticide use

The BBC has taken umbrage with comments attacking Gardeners' World presenter Toby Buckland's pro-peat and pesticide stance.

Buckland said (HW, 18 September) that clearing your allotment with glyphosate was "common sense" if you wanted to grow your own. He added that "some plants need a little peat in their potting mixes" and he would show a range of techniques on the show.

His comments were reported in the national media but the BBC, which is keen to give Buckland a broader appeal than his organic predecessor Monty Don, says he was quoted out of context.

Soil Association policy director Lord Peter Melchett said: "It is certainly much better to grow healthy and environmentally friendly food organically than to use sprays like Roundup, which Toby recommends."

Garden Organic horticulture advisor Andy Strachan said Buckland's comments highlighted a "lazy and hypocritical" approach to the use of chemicals in the garden.

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